Before I became interested in dressing and style, I avoided thinking about my body. At all costs. I didn’t look in the mirror if I didn’t have to, didn’t focus much energy or attention on how my outfits interacted with my figure, and did my utmost to think about anything besides my own physicality. Because of this choice, the information I was given about my body came almost exclusively from external sources. And none of it was good news: I was chubby, disproportionate, my breasts were too small and my hips were too big, my arms were flabby and so was my stomach. Virtually all of this information was comparative: I was flabby compared to Gwyneth Paltrow, my breasts were too small compared to Victoria’s Secret models … you know the drill. I studiously ignored my body, hoping its perceived inadequacies would diminish if I pretended I was a brain in a jar. And yet this comparative information still crept in and made me feel inadequate.
Originally posted 2013-09-16 06:02:50.
I’ve long used my instincts and eye to determine what looked best on myself and others, but over the past few years I’ve realized that there are some guidelines that can help aid my instincts and eye when I doubt myself. I still flub, the guidelines sometimes fail, and – just like everyone – I have my share of unfortunate outfits. But keeping a few of these guidelines in mind has helped me improve my batting average. The most useful guideline of the bunch has been the Golden Ratio.
Originally posted 2012-07-05 06:17:10.
Reader L e-mailed me this question:
I know this might be a question that applies to a lot of people, but in case it’s useful info, my specific body is like this: I’m about 5’7″, and I weigh somewhere between 145 and 150 lbs at any given minute. I have a very short waist (less than 2.5″ between my last rib and my hipbones), very small breasts (a-b cup, I rarely wear underwire bras) and a large ribcage–about 37 inches around. It’s not that I’m barrel-chested, which I know is an actual medical diagnosis, just that I’m really wide side-to-side. I’ve always struggled with those apple/pear/rectangle body classifications. I have the wide top half and super long legs that would make me an apple, except that I’ve never particularly had a tummy and my waist does come in a couple inches between my ribs and my hips (but it’s short enough to not particularly produce an hourglass shape). And while I have curvy hips and a big butt that mean I’m not really rectangular at all, my torso’s much shorter and wider than those shapes called pear.
Originally posted 2013-06-18 06:39:20.